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I was never out of contention for Team India, says Ambati Rayudu

Rayudu had a spectacular IPL 2018, where he finished 4th on the table of highest run-getters.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

India batsman Ambati Rayudu believes he was never out of contention of finding a slot in the middle order of the national side. Rayudu has been a strong contender for plugging the hole in India’s middle order, which has been a source of concern for the 2011 world champions before they begin their campaign in next year’s World Cup.

A number of players have come and gone, but the team are yet to find one who can deliver on a regular basis and adapt to various conditions. The Men in Blue have a beefed-up the top order, consisting of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli, who’ve all been in prolific form with the bat. The middle order has, therefore, remained unexposed, and have had very few opportunities to prove their mettle. On most occasions, they’ve failed to make a telling impact when the top three have been dismissed early on in the innings.

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India’s hunt for a suitable no.4

The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik have all come and gone, but haven’t found a permanent spot in the playing XI. With MS Dhoni’s place cemented as a keeper-batsman, India’s main problems have been with the no.4 position. However, they potentially have an answer to their woes in form of Ambati Rayudu.

Speaking ahead of the 2nd ODI against the Windies, Rayudu said, “I think even before the IPL, it was not like I wasn’t in contention. It was just because, I had some few injuries and I wasn’t fit. So yes, IPL was a good platform to come back well and come back strong especially with my fitness.”

Rayudu had a spectacular IPL 2018, where he finished 4th on the table of the highest run-getters. He amassed 602 runs at 43 with a strike-rate of almost 150 in Chennai Super Kings’ title-winning return to the tournament. While he was all set for a return to international cricket after a gap of two years, he couldn’t make it to India’s limited-overs tour of England after failing the yo-yo test, which has been made mandatory for India’s selection process.

However, Ambati Rayudu was impressive in the Asia Cup where he filled Virat Kohli’s shoes, and has since been India’s biggest hope at the debated no.4 position. The Men in Blue have close to 15 more ODIs to play before the World Cup gets underway in England next year.

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